You may be surprised to hear that I'm tired. I know, I know. I never mention fatigue. Ever. Do I? Actually, I've been quite pleased with my energy levels the last few weeks. I've kept the house relatively clean. I've been able to play with my kids. I've been impressed with my body's capacity to go. And on some level, I've discovered it is a matter of choice. If I choose to keep going, I can! I thought triumphantly the other day, while scrubbing away at the dishes.
This morning I laid down on my bed, leaning against my pillow to rest for just a moment. I was listening to the News Roundup on the Diane Rhem show (something to look forward to on Fridays for sure) and all of the sudden I was waking up from a short, I think, cat-nap. I'm sure I would have slept longer, but that inherent mommy 6th sense reminded me that I have a baby who was crawling around and possibly getting into things he shouldn't be, so I got up groggily to go into the other room to crash on the couch, but a whiff of his diaper quickly did in that dream.
I've been re-reading A Year in Provence, a completely charming and utterly depressing account once you realize that as accessable as Peter Mayle makes it sound, you know that you will never find yourself living in an old stone farmhouse in the countryside of Southern France, no matter how much you might dream about it. Also, they seem to drink so much alcohol there, I'm afraid as a non-drinker, I would immediately be branded as a freak and studiously avoided. So that, and the fact that Ben and I have yet to achieve the status of independently wealthy are just two of the roadblocks that have come to my mind during the past few gray days here in New York.
My next reading adventure is the first Harry Potter book in French to help, you know, keep my French up, in the event I ever do find myself in possession of an old stone farmhouse in France. I am aproaching it with a slight bit of trepidation, knowing it's going to take a little more brain power than just reading the English version. I'm sure this is good for me. Kind of like the physical push to keep my body moving, my mind will surely function better with a little mental push as well. I've written before about the vacation my brain takes during various stages of the mothering experience. Another mental exercise I am trying to involve my brain in is a blog re-design. Hopefully someday you'll see the fruits of it.
The truth of it is, mothering is tiring. Having watched my own mother live in a pretty constant state of fatigue, I have few illusions. And the ones I do have are probably necessary to my survival. At the end of the day, it's not so much the physical drain, although that has it's place and part, especially when everyone is in constant companionship with a ne'er departing cold, but it's the mental exhaustion that takes a toll from the everyday routines of very small people who aren't quite ready to be out and about in the world a whole lot. The amusing, but not quite stimulating conversations of 4 year-olds, coupled with cold weather, and no transportation and a child who refuses to just take the leap and decide to be completely potty trained as opposed to just almost potty trained.
But, tis also a seasonal thing. The good times of Winter are passed. February is usually a dismal month for weather, although I hold out hope for a few of those sunny days that occassionally pop in. Winter in a holding pattern, warmer weather is somewhere around the corner, but taking it's own sweet time. The good news is that Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow today so Spring should be showing up early. Hence, that vicarious year in Provence, and a little foreign language stimulation, a little pep talk, and a shower as well (imagine that! a shower!), may actually do the trick of mind over matter. But we'll see. Today my matter is feeling pretty persistent.